Flying Instructors & ExaminersA place for instructors to communicate with one another because some of them get a bit tired of the attitude that instructing is the lowest form of aviation, as seems to prevail on some of the other forums!
Over the last few weeks I have been searching and researching about doing an JAA FI(R) course.
I have obtained my frozen atpl recently in Spain, but I am from the Netherlands. I am not planning on doing the FI course in Spain as well. Preferable in northern Europe or the US.
In Holland the FI courses take about 3 to 6 months to complete, because its a parttime course. I would like to do a full time course, which in most places takes around 4 to 6 weeks. Now I have made a small list of schools that interest me:
Oxford Aviation Academy Western Air Thruxton Stapleford Wycombe Air Centre European Flight Training (Florida)
There are some price differences in the courses the above provide, but all still cheaper than doing the course in the Netherlands and for sure better than doing in Spain.
Converting my licences to FAA and then doing the CFI course at an US flight school such as Flight Safety, Aviator College or Aerosim is also an option. Because most of the schools there are looking for instructors, but the problem is that I cant go there under a F1 visa because I already have my licences. I would need a H1B, which makes things very complicated. So I think its better to stick with a JAA course.
Every school has its pros and cons, but I think these have more pros.
Im feeling a bit for EFT, because I would like to fly in the US for a while.
What should I do here, because Im a bit stuck in the middle.
As far as H1B visas are concerned, it is pretty much out of the question.
I got a FI job by doing the rating at the same place that hired me. And I wouldn't do the rating at any place that promises you a job before you even do the FI rating because why would someone promise you a job without knowing how you will perform as an instructor?
Last edited by zondaracer; 28th Dec 2011 at 16:34.
I would try Wycombe Air Centre - I know that they did a guy's FI there about 2 or 3 years ago who was in exactly the same position as you - he had done licences in Spain but was from the Netherlands. He had a great time and even managed to teach the instructors there some Dutch so you should feel at home!
I did mine there and it took about 5 weeks (and I started in Feb). It has a great family atmosphere and is so friendly. The admin staff are great and the instructors (Caroline & Simon) make a great double act, especially during any "good cop bad cop" Q&A sessions...
Central Flight Training in Tatenhill or Alan Cooper at Gamston. Not sure where you are looking to work but a lot of UK schools won't consider you if you have done your FI in Florida even if you do JAA rating from the start.
Doing a FAA FI training is out of the question I think. Doesnt get me anywhere or need to keep trying to win the green card lottery! haha
I based my selection on recommendation I read here and from reviews that I searched. These schools have good instructors and are less mainstream. Except OAA, which is very mainstream. But they have a good package and ofcourse their name. They are more expensive then the rest though.
Nothing is wrong with Spain. I love the country and the flight training was fine. The instructors were quite good. But I am a bit tired of the mañana mañana mentality. I prefer to get training in a more "strict" country, such as the UK or Holland. If I would get a job offer from Spain I will go for sure! But for now as long as I have a choice, I would like to do my training elsewhere.
Yes, I agree. A school cant offer you a job before they know what kind of instructor you are. But I think that will not be a problem with any of these schools.
Wycombe sounds good indeed! I had contact with them not too long ago, but I think the whole thing with Cabair kept them busy. But I keep them in mind for sure!
Thanks fa2fi! I will take a look at them! I dont really mind where I can work, as long as I can fly! Ofcourse preferable in Europe, but any place is fine with me!
EFT only has JAA instructors, mainly from the UK. Since its a british school. They work together with Aviator College by using their planes and facilities. I haven´t heard a bad thing about this place and the current students seem to be happy there. I would like to fly in Florida, but if that decreases my chances here in Europe then its not really an option. Everything is European about this school though, except the location.
Leicester (EGBG) also do FI courses at very good rates. I haven't done the course (yet) but I'm aware of very good feedback from those that have done so. Parking, food, lecture facilities all good. Local accommodation can be provided quite cheaply as well.
You could also try West London Aero Club at White Waltham Aerodrome; close to J8/9 on the M4. A large grass aerodrome with three runways and home to the ATA during the war, the clubhouse was the ATA HQ. The club has a largish fleet of PA28 Warriors and dedicated FIC instructors who spend all their time with you. Not the cheapest , but you get what you pay for.
I have just come from doing my FI(R) course at EFT in Florida 2 weeks ago and I have to say it was a first class course and also thoroughly enjoyable too. I did it in the time they had proposed and completed it on budget. If you want any further info feel free to PM me. stu
On the subject of Wycombe Air Centre Ltd going into administration...
While this is true the reason behind this is so that they could be freed up from the Cabair mess as Cabair slipped into bankruptcy (again!!). Wycombe had always been the profit maker of the group and so were much easier to find new owners in a state where the Cabair debts didn't drag them under.
Wycombe Air Centre itself was bought by the Arora Group and a new company has been formed - "Booker Aircraft Operations Ltd trading as Wycombe Air Centre and/or Airways Flying Club"
Thank goodness they don't answer the phone with that as their greeting!!!
Anyway - all as normal at WAC and still the same great staff!